Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. One in four deaths each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, is caused by heart disease.
While healthy lifestyle choices and properly managing health conditions can help prevent heart disease, LifeSource says that donating blood also supports these choices and health management strategies. This February, it will tout these benefits on behalf of American Heart Month.
Blood donors support life through their vital blood donations. Because there isn’t a blood substitute for patients, the need remains constant. As part of LifeSource’s rigorous screening process, staff follow FDA-qualified questions and testing procedures to ensure the safety of the blood supply. During this screening process, staff routinely ask blood donors detailed questions about their current health and medications.
These questions, along with a blood pressure check and verification of hemoglobin (iron) and non-fasting cholesterol levels, serve as a “mini-physical.”
“While this ‘mini-physical’ doesn’t replace going to a doctor’s office for a thorough examination,” says Darrell Triulzi, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine, the parent company of LifeSource, “it can play a part in monitoring one’s own wellness.”
According to Chad Douglas, LifeSource Executive Director, many frequent LifeSource donors maintain an online account that is updated with medical information each time they donate blood. Adds Douglas: “The recorded fluctuations can provide an early warning to a potential issue between yearly check-ups that donors can choose to share with their doctor.”
When it comes to being healthy, the CDC and the American Heart Association agree on these three recommendations: 1) Eat a healthy diet; 2) Monitor your blood pressure; 3) Have your cholesterol checked.
Along with hosting daily blood drives, LifeSource operates 15 community donor centers and fixed sites with regular operating days and hours. To make an appointment, or for more information, visit lifesource.org, or call 877.543.3768.